The very heart of transformed thinking

No verse brings out the idea of “transformed thinking” (Rom. 12:1-2) better than Romans 12:9

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Those in the Kingdom know love. And they live transformed lives simply by loving in the way of the King.

The world celebrates evil and abhors good. Just by reversing that and insisting on it in our lives… we are transformed… and considered oddities in our culture.

Rom. 12:9 is crucial to transformed minds.

Building endurance

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all.Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Rom. 8:23-25)

Can I trust if I don’t yet “see”? Can I trust in something God has promised in my life and wait patiently? The hardest thing for us as American Christians is that ugly word: waiting. 

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We don’t like waiting. We don’t like trouble. We don’t like pain in the trouble while we’re waiting.

Yet, all of it builds something magnificent as we walk with God. It builds longing. If we are in Christ, we realize it builds a hope for something more. Something real. Something eternal. 

Present troubles are manageable in our lives when living in the hope of future redemption.

Lord, help me mature in my walk with you! Let me know longing. Let me know hope.

Living in the supernatural

I am working my way through Romans 8 and a comment from Craig Keener caught me. I long to continue living in the presence of Christ. I don’t want to live with skepticism. I may battle doubt from time to time, but I want to be found in faith at the end of the day!

Western Christendom today has imbibed the radical Enlightenment’s skepticism of the supernatural, suspicious of miracles and other divine interventions. For Paul, however, the genuine Christian life is “supernatural” (i.e., divinely empowered) from start to finish, a life by God’s own Spirit. Apart from acknowledging and embracing the Spirit, the best imitations of Pauline religion are just “flesh.”

Keener, C. S. (2009). Romans (p. 104). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

Don’t make it about what it WAS

We need a deep shout of truth into the deepest part of our spirits. We need to understand the control we live under. It’s not the flesh any longer. Romans 8 has Paul demonstrating there are two allegiances, but in v. 9 delivers such a powerful shout of truth that needs to reverberate into the deepest parts of our spirits.

“Yes, this is what it is like to be under the control of the flesh… But. Not. You.

May we hear this deep word in our spirits today!

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. (Rom. 8:9-11)

Live Dead Challenge: Good News isn’t “Self Help”

We are just into a series on “LIVE DEAD” at our church. This week’s reflection is on Romans 12. Next Sunday we reflect on Romans 13:8-14. 

The process of “LIVE DEAD” begins with Paul’s urging in Romans 12:

So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. (vv. 1-2, CEB)

We need transformed minds that will call us out. We need a fresh call to move away from being conformed to the spirit of this age and have our whole beings surrendered fully to the patterns of the Kingdom of God. 

The gospel means “GOOD NEWS.” It’s not a discussion on philosophy or a self-help tract. We have a message to proclaim and a new life to live out in front of this world. 

The question for this week in my life is this: Is my life fully surrendered to the power of the gospel? 


Permanently dead?

Our life in Christ is powerful. We too often take Lent and think on our miserable failures without realizing the glorious power of the Savior.

Today’s reading in Romans gives us the glimpse of power we need.

Our present activity is VITAL. It should powerfully reflect God’s will in our lives, if we are truly dead to our sin and alive to Christ. Live in the eternal life granted to us now in Christ!